I haven’t made many anime posts this week, and if you don’t count RWBY (I do, some don’t), it really has been a few days. That’s not because I’m falling out of love with the medium, but I haven’t been watching as much lately and I can only really talk about what I have watched. In fact, I haven’t watched anything new this season yet, as none look so essential that I must follow them week to week. Some, like Izetta: The Last Witch and March Comes In Like A Lion have intriguing premises so I may pick them up once they’re finished airing. But I’m not feeling motivated to do that now, race through what’s there and be stuck for a bit. The last couple of cours I did that with Re:Zero, ReLife and Orange, and while Re:Zero was awesome, the other two ended up dragging a bit after I caught up with their airing dates and had to wait (having not yet had a Crunchyroll subscription for ReLife in case you’re wondering). I’m not meant to follow most anime series as they air, only the best. I’m far happier exploring old series. Which doesn’t help my review position, but I’m not aiming to be an up-to-date reviewer, there are plenty of blogs, youtube channels and reddit for all of that. My anime posts are all my experience of anime and I’m sharing it out as it comes to me. Perhaps now is the time that I should be examining other summer and spring and winter series that I haven’t watched that I could plough through really quickly. But I don’t have any particular names for that at the moment so I’m going to leave that off.
As you might be able to see the ol’ MAL is looking a bit barren for watched entries right now, I’m still going through Death Note as fast as I can ask my watching partner ‘can we watch more Death Note please’, but the only other thing there is the cutesy slice-of-life comedy Toradora! that I recently embarked upon. Which is about 8 years old. And I’m starting to get the anime bug for it, in that I’m starting to want to watch more and more, after seeing a handful of episodes, despite it being, so far, silly light fluff. I was promised a bit of drama towards the end of it, I don’t know how heavy that’s going to get, please smirk or silently nod knowingly to yourself as appropriate.
I’ve watched the first few episodes of Toradora, and I’m going to dump the exclamation mark because it’s confusing my punctuation senses, and on that note, there are far too many exclamation marks in this fall season, perhaps that’s why I haven’t picked anything up yet. The first couple were a bit so-so, with Taiga being a tsundere mainly notable for her last name kind of sounding like my first name, Takasu being your average, suffering male protagonist. In fact, it largely just reminded me of Haruhi Suzumiya, but without any indication that there was any weird alien stuff going on. To be fair, that’s not a bad comparison as Haruhi is definitely one of my favourites and I love everything in that universe (and will easily use spoilers from that universe if you happen to be watching it, stop reading the rest of this). This may have also been drawn up by the intro, which does the walking to the side thing that I think Haruhi was supposed to already be parodying and with this coming two years later, maybe it was also parodying it. Because the style is very comedic.
What’s really suddenly gotten me interested in the series, aside from Minorin’s wonderful smile, is the introduction of a character who doesn’t really fit a well-trodden archetype in anime. Minori is cute and ditzy but very normal, Kitamura is a bit dull so far, but Kawashima Ami is proving to be a real highlight, a foul-mouthed, rude and unpleasant girl who naturally hides away her true self behind a front. The parts where she seems like she might be coming on to Takusu, the parts where she says ‘fuck it’ to her facade of a personality, even her fake cutesiness is done with a tinge of menace to it. Okay, I lie, she does really remind me of someone, but it’s someone who I think was really underused and I would gladly see more of that archetype. I of course mean Ryoko Asakura from the Haruhi Suzumiya franchise. They’re similar in looks which aids the comparison, but they’re also sweet on the surface, and rough on the inside. And unlike Asakura, Kawashima is actually a real girl and has her own emotions and thoughts and feelings. That made Asakura incredibly strong, but only in small doses. When Ryoko was used for a long time in Nagato Yuki-chan, follow my train of thought here, okay, it felt off but also slightly tense as I didn’t know what tone the writers were going for – they could have made Ryoko a long arc villain and I’d probably look back at that Haruhi spinoff much more favourably.
Similarly, I don’t know exactly what tone Toradora is going to continue in, but it’s ranked very high on MAL so I am expecting something good to show up at some point. I don’t know where, I don’t know when, but I expect it’ll be something good involving Kawashima in some way. At least, I’d better be right. Taiga’s starting to grow on me too.